Skills Vs Values?
In a Masterclass intended for managers and entrepreneurs and focused on the growth and enhancement of collaborators, a consultant asked the audience if, in the selection of personnel, Skills or Values were more important. The answers were varied and all respectable for reasons and arguments. But more than going into the merits of the answers, as a trainer, I am interested in taking a cue from the story to focus entrepreneurs on these two concepts, apparently different but indeed synergistic and complementary.
Before getting to the topic of personnel selection and before answering the question that the colleague asked the audience, I invite the entrepreneurs who read us to ask themselves these questions:
- What values matter to me?
- Did I bring my values into my company?
- Do my behaviors convey to collaborators how important my values are to me?
Apparently trivial, these simple questions hide the truest essence of entrepreneurial activity.
Value: who was he?
Let’s start by reflecting on the meaning we give to the term Value. Generally, the term refers to the possession, by an individual, of high intellectual and/or moral skills or of a high degree of professional capacity, and therefore of skills that we define through the expression “man or woman of value.” We often use the term Value to identify courage; other times, we want to express a more philosophical meaning: we think of the phrase “the value of life.” At other times we still give the term a material connotation: “This is an object of value.” In summary: the concept of value in all its connotations is so deeply rooted in us that it has repercussions on everything we do as individuals.
The entrepreneur is business value.
Often without full awareness, even the individual entrepreneur creates the company, feeds it, and develops it by virtue of the values that are primary for him, and often just as unconsciously transmits them to his collaborators. Let’s assume that education, frankness, and responsibility represent primary values for me; in my daily activity, I will always be careful to greet all my collaborators, and I will be equally careful that they behave equally well towards their colleagues and me. At the same time, respecting the value of education, I will always be frank with my collaborators to point out what goes well and wrong, and I will expect my collaborators to do the same. Finally, I will adopt responsible behavior aimed at protecting things and people, trying not to put anyone in difficulty. And once again, I will expect this behavior to be observed by everyone.
Here then, is that my company (Capital + Goods + People) will be built based on Human Capital that will inevitably have the same values as mine. Otherwise, if an individual with markedly different values were to join the team, he would have no way of integrating and contributing to maintaining the group’s values.
Shared values = leadership
In the daily frenzy, we are often led not to give weight to our values: we tend to separate work life from private life, and although this is in some ways correct, in other respects, it is not possible.
Not giving importance to the Values means not building a prosperous environment; it means sowing on an arid field. On the contrary, placing Values at the center of personal relationships will ensure that our collaborators will not only be efficient, productive, and motivated but will contribute to building their own working environment, within which they will feel essential elements. Having corporate values will inevitably lead us to have collaborators who will be reflected in the company’s policies and who will share the entrepreneur’s development plans; we will have collaborators who will question themselves and who will want to enrich their skills to feel part of the development corporation, we will have collaborators willing to take time away from their personal activities and from the family for that sense of responsibility towards work, colleagues and the company. We will have a Leader company.